Husband Says Wife's Strangling Euthanasia

A Stavropol resident has been arrested on murder charges after using a cell phone cord to strangle his wife who was dying of liver cancer, a senior investigator said Thursday.

The unidentified 32-year-old suspect said his 43-year-old wife had repeatedly begged him to help her die, and he strangled her at their dacha outside Stavropol, Vitaly Batishchev, head of the Stavropol branch of the Investigative Committee, said by telephone.

"He said he did this out of mercy to her," Batishchev said.

Russian law does not permit euthanasia. If convicted of murder, the suspect faces a sentence of six to 15 years in prison.

The woman was diagnosed with liver cancer several years ago, but treatment was unsuccessful, and her health deteriorated rapidly in the weeks before she died, Batishchev said.

Her relatives told investigators that she had no longer wanted to live and had spoken about committing suicide.

The suspect, however, gave investigators several explanations for her death before admitting that he had strangled her, Batishchev said.

The couple were married last year.